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I'm trying to understand the decals system.

In which directories does the game look for decal texture files (referenced by decals.ini)?

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[Decal001]
MeshName=Fuselage                                  ---------------- actual node it goes on. limit 3 tga per (your viewer make this sooooo much easier for the likes of me to find this out)
DecalLevel=2                                    ---------------------------- 4 different levels. O ties to nation, 1 ties to unit, 2 is serialized and unique to each aircraft, 4 is kills iirc. 2 is normally used for serial numbers but can be used for individual schemes/camoflage or nose arts
DecalFacing=RIGHT                                    ----------------- self explanitory. all basic directions included TOP, FRONT, LEFT etc
FilenameFormat=B-52G_89/DiegoGarcia/D/FuseR  naming convention. game starts looking where guruu pointed out and does not need included in this line. the D folder in this is not really needed, but a habit amongst the senior modders that i picked up
Position=-2.75,0.0
Rotation=0.0
Scale=48.00                 ----------------------------------------------- not usually this big. can be either side of the decimal point, mine are often huge due to a tga covering the whole fuselage side or wing. but one could make a bigger tga with high detail and scale below 1.0 to place on model
DecalMaxLOD=3                                       --------------------- Wrench can explain better than me, but iirc has to do with distance visible

biggest issue often encountered is typo's in the fileformat and position being off model. DecalMaxLOD can cause some issues too, again not THE expert on that. I usually default to =3 on most of my work.

the ini can be huge. the displayed project is already at 130+ entries and I am going to add two more showing the EVS in better detail

personally i prefer tga for many markings to on skin. it seems to show detail better in some instances than skins (esp when the original skin is smaller; 512 rather than 2048 or 4096)

one other trick that can be done with 2 level decals is to have a base decal and then one or two specials. example thisDecal as a base then thisDecal000 as a CAG bird. the other however many will just use that default.  HOWEVER, i found with the tankers i did that more than two individuals caused issues. i wound up having to create a tga for every single one and even then there were oddities past 10 aircraft loaded.

hope this is useful information. just some observations from a guy that plays quite a bit with the tga file.

 

Edited by daddyairplanes
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20 minutes ago, daddyairplanes said:

DecalMaxLOD=3                                       --------------------- Wrench can explain better than me, but iirc has to do with distance visible

In aircraft.ini you have list of LODS with distance of their visibility.

[LOD0001]

Filename=GR1B.lod
Distance=35

....

[LOD0003]

Filename=GR1B_lod2.lod
Distance=2000

This is just max LOD that decal is visible.

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So, the game ONLY looks in Objects/Decals (and maybe subfolders here) and not in Objects/Aircraft/ or other folders?

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Quote

So, the game ONLY looks in Objects/Decals (and maybe sub folders here) and not in Objects/Aircraft/ or other folders?

(don't know what happened with the quotation box there...to answer the question:

only 1stGens locate the decals sub folder ( Objects/Aircraft/F-86F/336th(skin)/D/*nameofdecal* in skin sub folder the aircraft main folder

SF2 uses a seperate /Objects/Decals/Name-of-aircraft/name-of-skin/-decals-/name of decal format. Something TK changed when going to the SF2, seperate mods folders concept/formate/wingdongs7

also, the DecalMaxLod= MUST be listed in each decal statement in the ini. Oddly, in 1stGens it wasn't necessary. We only found that out (SF2) when converting older aircraft TO sf2, and finding the decals didn't show, all else being equal.

OTH, 1stGens CAN use the Objects/Decals/etc..... that's been tested by me and it works fine. 

 

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6 hours ago, daddyairplanes said:

personally i prefer tga for many markings to on skin. it seems to show detail better in some instances than skins

And allows you to use 1 skin for more camos ;-) But something for something, for example national markings in skin are 'for free' and decals not .

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58 minutes ago, guuruu said:

And allows you to use 1 skin for more camos ;-) But something for something, for example national markings in skin are 'for free' and decals not .

one skin, many camo's? who does such madness?:lol:

US insignia and squadron tail markings on the F-102 were one of the things that moved my opinion towards tga. but yes if you have a larger scaled skin insignia (and not a whole lot of varied camo tgas) it can work just fine on skin.

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Just to be complete, in order for decals to show properly on the model the object needs a "with decals" setting to be turned on in 3DS Max when it is saved or it does funky things in game. Stephen1918 and I ran into that issue when assigning pennant number decals to the V & W class destroyers. You might need to be able to read the data the "with decals" flag adds to the object.

Example of the issue from our development.

img00174.JPG

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7 hours ago, KJakker said:

Just to be complete, in order for decals to show properly on the model the object needs a "with decals" setting to be turned on in 3DS Max when it is saved

At least 1st LOD ;-)

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